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BMT-72

Main battle tank

BMT-72

The BMT-72 has an unusual capacity to carry 5 soldiers under armor

 
 
Country of origin Ukraine
Entered service -
Crew 3 + 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 50 t
Length (gun forward) 10.76 m
Hull length ~ 8.7 m
Width 3.77 m
Height 2.28 m
Armament
Main gun 125 mm smoothbore
ATGW 9K119M Refleks
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 12.7 mm
Elevation range - 4 to + 15 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 30 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62 mm, 450 x 12.7 mm
Mobility
Engine 6TD-2 diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 750 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 70%
Side slope 50%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording 1.8 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m

 

   The Ukrainian BMT-72 was an experimental main battle tank with an infantry transport capability. The BMT-72 was based on comprehensively upgraded T-72 main battle tank. Developers refered this combat machine as heavy infantry fighting vehicle. This heavily armored machine was developed as a private venture to meet a possible requirement of Ukrainian Army as well as export customers. At the time Ukrainian Army had about 1 300 T-72 MBTs in storage. A number of countries still operate large fleets of the T-72 series tanks or keep them in storage. Currently the ageing T-72 tank can not match protection, firepower and mobility of modern main battle tanks. However despite all advantages of the BMT-72 it received no production orders. Most countries were unwilling to upgrade their inventory of Cold War era armored vehicles. Many older tanks were retired without replacement.

   This unusual vehicle had a crew of three and could carry 5 dismounts. The BMT-72 could be used as a main battle tank or heavy infantry fighting vehicle. It could carry troops on the battlefield under heavy enemy fire. Less protected IFVs and APCs are vulnerable to all anti-tank weapons and on the battlefield can only follow MBTs at a distance.

   Currently only Israeli Merkava series main battle tanks have this unique capacity to carry extra infantrymen inside the tank under full armor protection. With the help of dismounts the BMT-72 was capable of capturing and retaining various territories for a longer time. These unusual combat machines could operate in formation with other main battle tanks or on their own.

   The BMT-72 was fitted with new engine. It was more compact, yet more powerful than that of the T-72 main battle tank. Vehicle had a stretched hull with an extra road wheel added on each side. The added troop compartment was located between the turret and engine compartment. Troops could enter and leave the vehicle via three separate hatches. Soldiers could either dismount and fight on foot or fire from the opened hatches.

   This combat vehicle was fitted with Ukrainian built-in explosive reactive armor. Also there was a Shtora-1 countermeasures system. This system reduces the chance of being hit by enemy anti-tank guided weapons with semi-automatic guidance.

   It looks that the BMT-72 was fitted with a complete turret of the T-80UD main battle tank. The turret had also been upgraded. Vehicle was armed with a 125 mm smoothbore gun. The gun was completed with a carousel-type autoloader. It could fire APFSDS, HEAT and HE-FRAG rounds. It could also launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. It used either a Russian 9K119M Refleks anti-tank guided missiles or its Ukrainian version. A total of 30 rounds were carried for the main gun. A total of 22 rounds were stored in the autoloader and were ready to use. Remaining rounds were stored inside the hull.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Also there is a remotely-controlled 12.7 mm machine gun.

   The BMT-72 was powered by a 6TD-2 turbocharged multi-fuel diesel engine, developing 1 200 hp. The same engine is used on the T-84, Oplot and some other Ukrainian MBTs. This engine has opposed-piston design and is more compact, yet more powerful than the original engine of the T-72. The BMT-72 could be fitted with a deep wading kit and ford water obstacles up to 5 m deep.

   Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau developed another similar vehicle. The BTMP-84 is based on Oplot main battle tank and also has extended hull with the capacity to carry 5 troops. However the BTMP-84 also received no production orders.

 

 

 
BMT-72

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BMT-72

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BMT-72

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BMT-72

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BMT-72

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BMT-72

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